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Shawn Welch


222 South Main Street, Suite 2200, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Shawn Welch represents clients in energy, environmental and natural resources litigation.

Shawn has over 20 years of experience handling lawsuits involving oil, gas and mining projects, and public lands litigation. He represents clients in federal and state courts in Utah and Wyoming, and before the Interior Board of Land Appeals and state regulatory agencies.

Shawn has served as lead counsel in several multi-week trials involving significant industry and public lands disputes, and has argued more than a dozen appeals before the Supreme Courts of Utah and Wyoming, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit


  • Title, rights-of-way, easements and trespass
  • Condemnation, surface access, and nuisance
  • Breach of contract, assignments for the benefit of creditors, and fraudulent transfers
  • Farmout agreements, working interests, and overriding royalties
  • Royalty disputes, divisions of interests, and joint interest billings
  • Drilling disputes, drilling contracts, and development agreements
  • Federal permit and project litigation involving:
    • National Energy Policy Act
    • National Historic Preservation Act
    • Endangered Species Act
    • Federal Land Policy and Management Act
    • Clean Air Act
    • Clean Water Act
    • Other federal and state environmental law

Client Results

Representative Matters
  • Defended oil and gas client's 400 well project and defeated all claims in a 21-count lawsuit alleging violations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and other state and federal law.

  • Secured appellate reversal of a $31 million jury verdict and take nothing judgment in an oil and gas royalty lawsuit.

  • Obtained appellate en banc dismissal of Supremacy Clause preemption claims involving public lands.

  • Obtained appellate reversal of adverse trespass decision and dismissal of all claims.

  • Quieted title to 65 miles of right-of-way following a two-week trial.

  • Quieted title to oil and gas interests and won money judgment for royalty over payments at trial.

  • Successfully defended oil and gas client in lawsuit claiming a breach of the duty to market and develop.

  • Secured favorable settlement in product defect litigation involving corrosion damage to client’s oilfield equipment.

  • Extensive experience in litigating rights-of-way, surface use agreements, and pipeline condemnation.

  • Extensive experience litigating farmout agreements, working interests, and overriding royalties.

  • Extensive experience defending drilling operations against claims involving loss of well, breach of contract, and breach of warranty.

  • Extensive experience defending federal records of decision, permits, and compliance with environmental law.




Bar Admissions

Court Admissions


  • Chambers USA, Environment, Natural Resources & Regulated Industries, 2016-2020; Natural Resources & Environment, 2021, 2022
  • The Best Lawyers in America© Lawyer of the Year, Oil & Gas Law – Salt Lake City, 2017
  • The Best Lawyers in America© Natural Resources Law, Oil and Gas Law, 2011-2022
  • Mountain States Super Lawyers®, Energy & Resources, 2012-2021
  • Utah Business Magazine, Utah Legal Elite, Energy & Natural Resources, Civil Litigation

Professional and Civic Affiliations

  • The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law, Member
  • American Association of Professional Landmen
  • Western Energy Alliance, Member
  • Utah State Bar
    • Section of Environmental, Energy, and Natural Resources, Section President, 2014
    • Appellate Section
  • Wyoming State Bar
    • Energy & Natural Resources Section

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